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Standing Waves
This site describes a demonstration of how the interference of seismic P (primary, compressional) and S (secondary, shear) waves cause standing waves such as surface waves in the Earth. The demonstration focuses on the P and S waves that are bouncing back and forth in the vertical direction in the Earth. Using a slinky, different frequencies are used to create different modes of standing waves. The length of the slinky is varied (analogous to the vertical distance of the interfering waves) and the relation to the frequency of the standing wave modes is found.
Intended for grade levels:
  • Middle (6-8)
  • High (9-12)
  • College (13-14)
Type of resource:
  • For the classroom:
    • Presentation / Demo
Subject:
  • Geological Sciences:
    • Geophysics
Technical requirements:
No specific technical requirements, just a browser required
Cost / Copyright:
No cost
Copyright and Other Restrictions Information is Unknown.
DLESE Catalog ID: DLESE-000-000-006-229
Educational standards:
  • National Science Education Standards (NSES):
    • 5-8:
      • Unifying concepts and processes:
        • Evidence, models, and explanation
      • B - Physical science:
        • Transfer of energy
      • D - Earth and space science:
        • Structure of the earth system
    • 9-12:
      • Unifying concepts and processes:
        • Evidence, models, and explanation
      • B - Physical science:
        • Motions and forces
      • D - Earth and space science:
        • Energy in the earth system
Related resources:
This resource is referenced by 'Demonstrations of Geophysical Principles Applicable to the Properties and Processes of the Earth's Interior'
Resource contact / Creator / Publisher:
Author: Dr Jeffrey S Barker
Binghamton University, Department of Geological Sciences and Environmental Studies